Tokyo holds a strong allure for different people for a wealth of reasons. Whether you are on the hunt for the world’s best sushi meals, a place to people watch and enjoy Japanese street fashion, or want to immerse yourself in Japanese pop culture, you are sure to find what you want in this historic city.
But while you’re mentally consuming bubble teas and basking in the light of the world’s largest collection of neon lights, you may also want to spare a thought to how much such a trip is likely to cost.
While many people just assume that a trip to Japan’s capital city would be a pricey venture, there are some surprisingly affordable meals, hotels, and activities hidden here.
Below, we’ll break down the costs by category so you can get an idea of what you’re likely to spend when you go — let us be your guide!
Average Trip to Tokyo Cost in 2023
A week in Tokyo costs between $4,000 and $5,500 for two people:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $125 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,500 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
- Transportation: $5 per person, per day
- Total Cost: $5,345
These costs are obviously averages; individual preferences, timing, and other factors can affect what you’ll actually spend when you go. Before you book your trip, think carefully about what you personally want out of a trip to Tokyo.
Focus on a few key splurges, as well as places where you can cut costs to balance it all out. We run through some likely numbers below, as well as hidden tips for saving money on your trip to Japan.
Tokyo Trip Cost: Average by Item
Costs in this guide have been translated from Japanese yen to US dollars at the current exchange rate. Double check rates before you travel in case the exchange rate varies between now and when you plan your trip.
Average cost of accommodations in Tokyo is around $200 per night. However, one secret to saving money on accommodation is to seek out business hotels.
These cheap hotels provide basic, clean accommodations at a price that is well below what you’d spend for a hotel with more traditional amenities. Many of these, such as the Hotel Listel Shinjuku or the Premier Hotel CABIN Shinjuku, have rooms for under $100 a night.
Other cheap options include the Smite Hotel Asakusa, which often has rooms for around $50 a night. Reviewers say the rooms are small, but the location is close to restaurants and other attractions and the hotel is clean and well-kept.
There are also ritzier options if you feel like splurging during your trip. The Hamacho Hotel is about 2 km from the Museum of Contemporary Art and less than a 10-minute walk from the nearest metro station.
There is a restaurant on-site, as well as others to choose from within a few blocks. Rooms run between $150 and $200 a night.
Another indulgent option is the Mitsui Garden Hotel Toyosu Premier. Located in a waterfront area, this historic hotel has rooms for around $150 a night.
A flight from JFK to Narita International Airport costs between $1,100 and $1,825. Big difference in price, right? That all comes down to the length and frequency of layovers.
The cheapest trip is also 10 hours longer than the most expensive. You also save a bit of money if you choose to fly on weekdays instead of over the weekend.
Tokyo’s other international airport, Haneda, might be preferable for a number of reasons. First, Haneda is about 50 kilometers closer to the city center, which can save a bit of travel times.
The flights there are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive, with averages around $1,500 for a flight from New York to Tokyo. Keep your eyes peeled for direct flights, too, which can shave an hour or two off your travel time and save a bunch of delays and hassle.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Tokyo has over 160,000 restaurants, so your choices of things to eat are nearly unlimited. Seasoned travelers recommend using a site like Tabelog to see what restaurants are good in your immediate area.
The site will give you a list of the highest ranked restaurants in the area. Users frequently post the cost of their meals when adding reviews. For example, a recent visitor to the sushi restaurant Sugita posted that he spent ￥30,000, which is equivalent to about $200 USD, on a meal there.
There are many cheaper options for meals, of course. Ramen is popular and available at restaurants throughout the city. Prices range from $4 to $8 a bowl, depending on the venue and what you have with it.
In a hurry or on a super tight budget? Instant ramen is available from vending machines. Expect to pay a little under $2 for a bowl.
Another budget food option, and a must-see destination on many traveler’s lists is 7-Eleven. The chain is immensely popular in Japan and has offerings that are way beyond the spinning hotdogs you’ll find in an American convenience store.
Instead, you’ll find Japanese fried chicken (karaage), spring rolls, hot pot, and other hot dishes for under a dollar a piece. Pair with Japanese teas, snacks, and candies.
Many people fill at least a couple of days in their visit to Tokyo visiting temples. In most cases, admission is free. If there is a charge, it is often under $5. Some travelers collect goshuincho stamps to commemorate their temple visits.
The stamp book will cost around $10 and the individual stamps can be collected at various shrines and temples around the city.
Tokyo also has a number of formal gardens. Entrance will cost about two or three dollars a person. These are great places to wander and decompress while taking in artistic Japanese garden designs.
One of the best views you’ll get is the one from the Tokyo Skytree. At over 2,000 feet, this is the tallest tower in the world. It offers a 360 degree observation deck, which gives you a view of the whole city.
Tickets cost anywhere from $12 to $25, depending on what add-ons you get. Many people consider a tea tasting an essential part of a visit to Tokyo. If you go to a place like Sakurai Tea Experience, you can try varieties that include shade-grown Gyokuro and genuine matcha.
A tasting flight will cost around $35 a person. Need a day where you cut your spending a bit?
Some of the best sights in Tokyo can be experienced for free. Kappabashi Street is lined with restaurant supply shops that stock local specialties like sampuru, hyper-real food replicas.
You can also spend some good time in the neighborhood around Shibuya Crossing. This busy intersection features massive video advertisement screens and is populated by local salarymen, sharp-dressed shoppers, and tourists from all over the world.
Visitors say they best time of day to visit is dusk, while the setting sun offsets the glow of the screens.
Yoyogi Park is another free-to-visit attraction. The park hosts a number of live events throughout the year. This is a great place to walk, people watch, or have a peaceful picnic meal.
Many visitors report that Tokyo is a very walkable city. Depending on what you have on your itinerary, you can likely get around on foot or with public transit. The average cost of transportation in the city is $6.25/day.
Tokyo’s subway system is extensive and efficient and can get you just about anywhere you need to go. This includes the two area airports.
Unlimited daily train tickets cost about $6.25 per person. You may be able to save more by buying three-day tickets instead. Many people choose to use rechargeable fare cards instead of buying individual tickets. This can save both money and time during your travels.
Tokyo’s buses cover all the neighborhoods accessible by train, plus a few additional ones, with an unlimited day pass costing around $3.50 per day. There are two types of buses, each with their own system for paying fares. The front-boarding buses require a fee paid as you get on the bus.
On rear-boarding buses, you’ll get a ticket as you board, then pay your fare when you disembark. A full day pass costs around $5 per person.
If you are out past the time the trains stop running, you can get back to your hotel using Uber or a cab. Either flag one on the street or find them waiting at hotels and train stations. A cab ride starts with a flag drop fee equivalent to about $3.50.
After that, you’ll pay between $2 and $3 a kilometer. There are also waiting fees for when cabs are in traffic. This makes them pricey options during the day, when traffic is at its worst.
Few travelers recommend renting a car while visiting Tokyo. The city’s traffic and tight roads make it a difficult way to get around. Prices run from $35 to $50 a day.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Tokyo:
- Pack a coin purse. Tokyo is still a very cash-based society and ¥1 and ¥5 coins are plentiful. Past travelers on Reddit say to pay with exact change when you can to keep the coin weight down.
- Consider getting a Suica or Passmo card and using it for everything. These are prepaid debit cards that are accepted for everything from train fare to vending machine goods.
- Don’t be leery of restaurants with three-star reviews. Japanese diners tend to give three stars for an average experience, with decent service and good food. Four and five-star ratings are typically reserved for extraordinary experiences. As one redditor put it, “A 3.5 on Tabelog is is like a 4.7 on Yelp.”
- If you plan to drive in Japan, you’ll need an International Driver’s Permit. You’ll need to get this certification in the US before you visit. Japan does not issue them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Tokyo:
How many days in Tokyo is enough?
If you are under time constraints, you could see a lot of Tokyo during a two-day trip. However, this compact, vibrant city offers enough variety and attractions to keep you busy and engaged for a week or more.
Do they speak English in Tokyo?
It’s always a good idea to learn at least a bit of the language where you travel. But, don’t worry if your Japanese is limited. Many people in Tokyo also speak at least some English. This is especially true in tourism-oriented occupations like restaurant and hotel work.
Is $100 a day enough for Japan?
Whether it’s enough will depend on your general budget and your plans on your trip. A budget to midrange traveler can spend between $50 and $100 a day. If you are looking for more high-end experiences and accommodations, look at a budget closer to $150 to $200 a day.
Is Tokyo expensive for Americans?
By Asian standards, Tokyo is expensive. However, many costs are lower than costs in similarly sized American cities. With careful planning, you can put together an affordable vacation in Tokyo.
So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for Tokyo?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$125 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,500 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$100 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$5 per person, per day|
|💲 Total Cost||$5,345|
A week in the Tokyo costs between $4,000 and $5,500 for two people. Your personal costs, of course, will depend on when you go and what you do while you are there.
Research all the attractions you want to see and the meals you need to try. By going through a few different options, you can find the Tokyo travel attractions that fit your personal ideal vacation. Happy travels!